Captain Leonard Destin Park
Status: Project is complete.
Groundbreaking : Feb. 22, 2018
Estimated Completion: August 2020
Status update as of August 3, 2020 Destin City Council Meeting: Motion to direct the Mayor to execute the Acceptance and Assignment Agreement between the City of Destin and Trust for Public Land, whereby the City will be transferred the land and all improvement located at Captain Leonard Destin Park, and further direct City staff to obtain an owner’s title insurance policy for the land in the amount of $5 million passed 7-0. The grand opening of the park will be announced soon.
Due to Hurricane Michael the project had been delayed as contractors were pulled to Panama City.
In 2015, The Trust for Public Land purchased the 3.42-acre property at 101 Calhoun Ave. with Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment early restoration funds with a vision to create a park for the public, provide public access to the water and help preserve the history of the community. Once the project is complete, The Trust for Public Land will give the park to the city along with operations and maintenance funds for 10 years.
Captain Leonard Destin Park is located on the same plot of land as the original homestead of its namesake. The history of the site informs the design, including simple architectural forms with clean lines, painted white wood siding and a grove of fruit trees reminiscent of a time when the land was a dwelling place and source of sustenance for early settlers. Today the site is home to a heron rookery, as well as over 150 years of memories of its inhabitants, including boat building and fishing.
The park will reflect the importance of water to the area and to the City of Destin in particular. Conceptually, the water is the origin of movement. Curvilinear contours in the land, patterns in the paving, and paths/walls all “flow” from the waterfront. Strong, familiar, structural forms create the foundation of the site itself– reiterating the site’s importance as a place of origin. Materials are familiar at their core, but the shapes and spaces that emerge reflect the idea of currents and flow in a way that feels more present-day. The movement inherent in the resulting design connects the park’s features together and suggest the flow of ideas, development, and energy from this former homestead to the city that became Destin. The park transports a historic site to a place of gathering that celebrates the spirit of Destin, with the water at its core.